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Home » Independence Issue, Viewpoint

Viewpoint – Independence: Distortion of a Struggle – 2011 London Student Fees Protest

Submitted by on February 6, 2011 – 12:59 pmNo Comment

Mizla at the protest.

Streets full of noise and faces full of smiles – that was the picture that was apparent in London at the student protests on the 10th November. Even the sun was out to illuminate the way.

The feel was like every other march that makes this revolutionary city such a special place: camaraderie, unity. It was apparent that a lot of young hopefuls for university who looked old enough to be finishing their A-Levels were out there due to sheer survival for the outcome of their future.

Since the Coalition government has come into power they have hacksawed through many issues in an attempt to deal with the recession, and these left-over, jagged edges that could remain after the cuts are implemented in 2013, could be just a little too harsh.

It is an outcome that could see the dumbing down of society as too many people feel that the price hike in the University fees that students would eventually have to pay back are too steep. The proposed plan is to make them £9000 as opposed to the close to £4000 that they now stand at per annum.

One such person who feels this way is Mizla Marandhar, an 18-year-old student who is doing her A-levels at Harrow College: “Well I plan to move out when I go to university and I don’t want my family to pay for everything, but if they increase the fees to £9000 it’s going to be a bit hard for me to do everything on my own. And I don’t want to keep on paying debt until I am 50 years old. I want to study media and psychology, next year. Everyone has been to university in my family, but now only the very rich people will be going to university and the working class people are going to suffer.”

Her words seemed to echo the fears and thoughts of the 50, 000 people that were banging drums and making themselves heard, but were the politicians listening? A reported 200 people on the march that day decided to attack the Tory headquarters in Millbank: smashing windows throwing missiles and starting fires.

David Cameron said the next day: “I could see a line, a thin blue line of extremely brave police officers, trying to hold back a bunch of people who were intent on violence and destruction…but as the police themselves have said, there weren’t enough of them.” The National Union of Students (NUS) president, Aaron Porter, condemned the actions of, “a minority of idiots”. Yet a lot of newspapers the next day went with the sensationalist angle with photos of people tearing up the Millbank headquarters. Before anyone had the chance to read further it had become tainted and the rumours spread like wildfire that this day was all about violence.

There will always be troublemakers, and those that go out to for a joyride or to sabotage the work of many, yet the facts need to be reported accurately and in this democracy that we adhere to the majority rules and their voices should be the loudest.

 

 

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